Preliminary reports revealed that the helicopter collided with the external cargo suspension of another helicopter that took off earlier, before it fell, collapsed and burnt, a statement published by Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency said.

Moscow : Eighteen people were killed in a Russian helicopter crash on Saturday in East Siberia, authorities said.

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said the MI-8 went down at 10.20 am, about 180 kms from Igarka town, in Krasnoyarsk. “There were three crew members and 15 passengers abroad the Mi-8 that belonged to Utair airline,” an emergency services official told TASS. The helicopter flew 2 kms before it crashed. No one survived.

Preliminary reports revealed the helicopter collided with the external cargo suspension of another helicopter that took off earlier, before it fell, collapsed and burnt, a statement published by Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency said.

The helicopter with cargo landed safely after the crew dropped the external suspension, it added.

Law enforcers said all possible versions, like a crew error and equipment failure, were under consideration.

A task force was set up to establish the causes and conditions of the catastrophe. The criminal investigators of the Main Directorate of Criminalistics of Russia’s Investigative Committee we­re sent to the spot, the panel said. Both black boxes were found, a source told Sputnik, adding the rec­o­­r­ders were in a satisfactory condition.

The Emergencies Ministry was sending over a group of An-74 and Be-200 aircraft and 25 people from regional search and rescue centres to the site of the crash, according to the Krasnoyarsk region branch of the ministry.

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